Four women with distinctly different visions of the world will be featured in July's exhibit, Supernaturalistic. Paintings by Laurel Bustamante, Kelly Brand and Élan Chardin Gombart alongside photographic tin types by Alexandra Opie range from micro to macro representations of nature.
Like Persian miniatures, Laurel Bustamante’s paintings are elaborate and enticing, combining human-interpreted flora with otherworldly environments. Her work is constructed with layers of gouache and acrylic paint to create ethereal and atmospheric settings, where microscopic gardens float and flourish. By contrasting highly rendered flora with abstract settings, she explores the schism in the human brain between our delight in nature and our global inability to maintain it.
As a feminist millennial existing in post-Internet society, most of Kelly Brand's influences derive from the young artists she encounters online and the Internet aesthetic perpetuated by platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. Her work exposes a reality in which social media influences us all, and imagines how this world reflects upon us.
Alexandra Opie's wet collodion photographs and tin types straddle the exquisite and strange. They feature plants as specimen and as landscapes in water and glass enclosures. The ambiguous scale and other-worldliness of the plants combine with the rich strangeness of tintype and wet collodion to create an uncannily glowing atmosphere.
For Élan Chardin Gombart, the meditative process, or flow, and exploration of the visceral nature of visual language remain at the core of her creative process. Her imagery incorporates the natural world around her with an elemental or atmospheric approach. The paintings in the series, Screens present colliding layers of colors and textures that hint at landscape or micro/macro worlds existing simultaneously in a positive/negative relationship to each other. Her encaustic work layer marks, shapes and colors that may be read as elements or the landscape but refuse to be translated literally.